Upcoming HSSC lectures are delivered online using our Zoom virtual meeting room.

From the comfort of your living room or wherever you are in the world, join us at 7:30 pm on the 4th Thursday of every month from January to June and September to November. 

We have an outstanding lineup of presentations of local historical interest. To enter these meetings click the corresponding link or scan the QR code on your smartphone or device. 

SEPTEMBER 23 “Journey through Niagara: the early years”, a pictorial journey through the Niagara Peninsula in the early years. Presented by HSSC board member, Roger Bradshaw, based on the book co-authored with John Burtniak. The majority of pictures are from Society member John Burtniak’s extensive post card collection, supplemented by photos from the Kings Highway web site and others. The journey starts on Highway No. 8, travelling from Stoney Creek and ending at Niagara Falls. This route was lined with cabins, cottages, inns, autotels, auto parks, tourist camps and restaurants. 

OCTOBER 28 “Over 50 Years of Artist-Run Culture in Niagara”, presented by Stephen Remus, Minister of Energy, Minds, and Resources at the Niagara Artists Centre. Stephen has been volunteering at NAC for over twenty years and has guided the organization through a period of significant growth including ownership of the organization’s facilities on St. Paul Street and the establishment of 14 work and studio spaces for artists. 

NOVEMBER 25 “Off to Paradise Grove: a Railway History of Niagara-on-the-Lake 1854- 1959”, presented by author Peter Mulcaster of Niagara-on-the-Lake, based on his book. The third steam railway to be built in Ontario, then known as Upper Canada, came to Niagara-on-the-Lake in 1854. As with many railways of that era, it went through a period of various owners and financial instability. Towards the end of the nineteenth century, the steam railway, then run by the Canada Southern Railway and subsequently by the Michigan Central Railroad, became established on a firmer footing and some economic development ensued. 

December Break….no lecture

January, 27, 2022:   “Mill Races in St. Catharines”

Brian Narhi, whose presentation will concern his research into the Mill Races in St. Catharines.

February. 24, 2022:  “Understanding Ugly: human response to buildings in the environment.

Dr. Ian Ellingham, local architect, speaking on his recent book.

 March  24, 2022: “Was your Grandmother a British Home Child?”

David Hemmings, who has documented the lives of 1200 British Home Children in Niagara.


Videos of Previous Lectures

Laura Blackwell, Our Countess of Turczynowicz – June 24 Meeting

Think of a person from St. Catharines who was:

  1. A world famous singer
  2. A member of the Polish aristocracy
  3. A war prisoner and refugee
  4. A humanitarian and author
  5. A patron of the arts

It can only be Laura Blackwell.

On June 24, Stan Skrzeszewski presented “Laura Blackwell, Our Countess of Turczynowicz: Opera Singer, Activist, Independent Woman” for the last meeting of the 2020-2021 season. This is a one of a kind story that should not be missed. Click below to begin the video.

Searching for St. Catharines in the Archives – May 27, 2021 meeting

On March 27, the Historical Society had the pleasure of hosting David Sharron’s, head of the Archives & Special Collections department at Brock University, illustrated talk entitled, “Searching for St. Catharines in the Archives.” Archival records are everywhere. Finding them is the challenge.

Using the Shickluna Shipyard as an example, David displayed the varied records related to St. Catharines available in the Brock Archives and gave hints how to find such materials when conducting research.

Here is the recording of the presentation:

For all of the recorded meeting for 2020-2021, visit the Society’s YouTube channel –

BME Church, Salem Chapel – April 22, 2021 Meeting

On April 22 at 7:30 p.m., the Historical Society had the pleasure of hosting Rochelle Bush who presented on the BME Church, Salem Chapel in St. Catharines. Designated a National Historical Site, the Church was built to accommodate African American individuals and families fleeing slavery in the United States notably including Harriet Tubman. The Salem Chapel remains an active congregation today. Rochelle is a Church Historian and Trustee.

Here is a recording of Rochelle’s presentation: